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The Role of Reading in the Composition Classroom - JAC Online

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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Role</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong><br />

NANCY MORROW<br />

As a teacher, I have always found <strong>the</strong> selection <strong>of</strong> texts peculiarly pa<strong>in</strong>ful. To choose<br />

what to <strong>in</strong>clude <strong>in</strong> aliterature or composition course is <strong>in</strong>evitably to make decisions<br />

about what to exclude, and exclusion is nearly always pa<strong>in</strong>ful. Asawrit<strong>in</strong>gprogram<br />

adm<strong>in</strong>istrator,Icametodreadthosehordes<strong>of</strong>publishers'repshawk<strong>in</strong>g<strong>the</strong>irwares,<br />

and even more so, that moment when, after careful deliberation, we presented our<br />

<strong>in</strong>structors (most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m graduate students) with lists <strong>of</strong> "approved" texts for<br />

various courses. Quite simply, text selection def<strong>in</strong>es us: def<strong>in</strong>es <strong>the</strong> courses we<br />

teach, our goals and ambitions, our <strong>the</strong>ories and pedagogies.<br />

Questions about what to read <strong>in</strong> composition courses have shaped <strong>the</strong>mselves<br />

<strong>in</strong>to a fierce ideological debate, fueled not only by local tensions between<br />

those who teach literature and those who teach composition, but also by broader<br />

concerns about what constitutes literacy and about <strong>the</strong> nature and function <strong>of</strong><br />

higher education. We need, as Jane Peterson has argued <strong>in</strong> College English, to<br />

"reframe" this debate: "to focus on read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>stead <strong>of</strong> genres and to contextualize<br />

our conversations about Freshman English" (314). Much <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> discussion about<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g courses has proceeded from an un<strong>in</strong>tentionally narrow or even<br />

impoverished sense <strong>of</strong> what read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>volves. Moreover, commentators have<br />

frequently asked <strong>the</strong> wrong start<strong>in</strong>g questions. What if <strong>in</strong>stead <strong>of</strong> ask<strong>in</strong>g, "what<br />

should we read <strong>in</strong> composition classes?" we asked "why do we read <strong>in</strong> composition<br />

classes?" By focus<strong>in</strong>g more carefully on what happens when students read, we can<br />

make more astute choices about both course design and text selection.<br />

In supervis<strong>in</strong>g novice teachers (specifically, graduate student <strong>in</strong>structors),<br />

I came to recognize how differently each teacher sees what Iser and o<strong>the</strong>rs call<br />

"<strong>the</strong> act <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g" and its connection to what anyone who teaches composition<br />

knows as "<strong>the</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g process." <strong>The</strong> students <strong>in</strong> my weekly teach<strong>in</strong>g practicum<br />

were once compla<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, as <strong>the</strong>y <strong>of</strong>ten do, about <strong>the</strong> anthology <strong>of</strong> non-fiction<br />

essays selected by our departmental textbook committee. As I recall, <strong>the</strong><br />

"reader" <strong>in</strong> question was an <strong>in</strong>nocuous, <strong>in</strong><strong>of</strong>fensive collection <strong>of</strong> expository<br />

essays, exactly <strong>the</strong> text that a committee <strong>of</strong> teachers with strong <strong>in</strong>dividual<br />

viewpo<strong>in</strong>ts might select <strong>in</strong> compromise. <strong>The</strong> graduate students, all second<br />

quarter teach<strong>in</strong>g assistants responsible for <strong>the</strong>ir own sections <strong>of</strong> English 1 (a<br />

freshman-level expository writ<strong>in</strong>g course), bemoaned both <strong>the</strong> paucity <strong>of</strong>


454 lAC<br />

well-written essays and students' lack <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>tellectual engagement <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

assigned read<strong>in</strong>g. More specifically, <strong>the</strong>y anguished over <strong>the</strong>ir own <strong>in</strong>ability<br />

to f<strong>in</strong>d selections <strong>the</strong>y "liked," <strong>the</strong> passivity <strong>of</strong> students, and <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

resistance to "discussion."<br />

I <strong>the</strong>n asked what seemed a foundational question: "Why do we assign<br />

read<strong>in</strong>gs to our students <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g courses?" One student, whose own writ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

for my class had been characterized by an eloquent, sophisticated prose style,<br />

responded: "I assign read<strong>in</strong>gs because I want students to appreciate good writ<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Which is why I know I'll be a better teacher next year when I get to use literature<br />

<strong>in</strong> English 3 [a freshman-level literature-based composition course, which<br />

students can take as an alternative to English 1]. My students will write better<br />

essays when <strong>the</strong>y read good writ<strong>in</strong>g." Ano<strong>the</strong>r student had a different answer:<br />

"That's not really what I care about at all. I just want <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>gs to provide <strong>the</strong>m<br />

with ideas to write about. I assign read<strong>in</strong>gs that students will care about-read<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

<strong>the</strong>y will be will<strong>in</strong>g to discuss actively. <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong>s with real ideas." F<strong>in</strong>ally, a third<br />

student, one whose contributions always revealed an abid<strong>in</strong>g concern for <strong>the</strong><br />

needs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> students, said, "<strong>The</strong> best read<strong>in</strong>gs are <strong>the</strong> ones that give students<br />

models that <strong>the</strong>y can emulate. Iliketo give <strong>the</strong>m examples <strong>of</strong> good student writ<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

like those <strong>in</strong> Prized Writ<strong>in</strong>g[an anthology <strong>of</strong> student papers submitted for an annual<br />

essay contest on our campus]. That's what students really want to read."l<br />

What was most significant for me <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>se responses-given my <strong>in</strong>itial<br />

question, "why do we assign read<strong>in</strong>gs?" -was <strong>the</strong> emphasis on "text selection."<br />

<strong>The</strong>se student-teachers seemed to hear my question not as why do we read? but<br />

as what should we read? I had asked for <strong>the</strong>ories (at <strong>the</strong> very least, for motives)<br />

but had gotten <strong>in</strong>stead textual preferences. True, each preference unconsciously<br />

revealed a partial <strong>the</strong>ory <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g: that read<strong>in</strong>g reveals mastery <strong>of</strong> written<br />

structures; that read<strong>in</strong>g provides access to ideas; that read<strong>in</strong>g makes us aware <strong>of</strong><br />

how genres and patterns shape ideas. But when our choices precede our <strong>the</strong>ories,<br />

and when we fail to discern <strong>the</strong>ory from practice, <strong>the</strong>ory becomes little more<br />

than a rationale <strong>of</strong>fered for choices already made. Our teach<strong>in</strong>g becomes, as<br />

Mariol<strong>in</strong>a Salvatori says <strong>in</strong> her excellent essay on read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> teach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong><br />

composition, a mere "repertoire <strong>of</strong> 'tips for teach<strong>in</strong>g'." Instead, we must, as<br />

Salvatori argues, make "visible our teach<strong>in</strong>g strategies and expose <strong>the</strong>ir rationale"<br />

(452). This rationale can be derived <strong>in</strong> a variety <strong>of</strong> ways from <strong>the</strong>ories <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>terpretation, textual production, and literacy. Significantly, <strong>the</strong>se <strong>the</strong>ories <strong>of</strong>ten<br />

help make connections between literary and rhetorical approaches to read<strong>in</strong>g, as<br />

compositionists and literary <strong>the</strong>orists have moved <strong>in</strong> similar directions <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

evolv<strong>in</strong>g understand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> text. To understand what a text is and how any text<br />

might be used <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition classroom, we might best beg<strong>in</strong> by explor<strong>in</strong>g why<br />

and how read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g have been described as <strong>in</strong>terconnected processes.<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> Skills and Writ<strong>in</strong>g Ability<br />

Ironically, undergraduate students <strong>of</strong>ten have little understand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

connections between read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g. We admonish students that "good


<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong> 455<br />

readers" (whatever that might really mean) make "good writers," a claim that<br />

proves hard to susta<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> academic world, with its own unique system <strong>of</strong><br />

rewards and punishments. I have heard students who failed a challenge exam<br />

for a required writ<strong>in</strong>g course argue unapologetically, that <strong>the</strong>y never read about<br />

current events, and thus, any "writ<strong>in</strong>g" test that requires <strong>the</strong>m to <strong>in</strong>terpret a<br />

general <strong>in</strong>terest read<strong>in</strong>g is patently unfair. <strong>The</strong> test should measure, <strong>the</strong>y claim,<br />

"writ<strong>in</strong>g" not" read<strong>in</strong>g" skills (much less, read<strong>in</strong>g" experience"), as if <strong>the</strong>re were<br />

no relation between <strong>the</strong> two. And it is not just <strong>the</strong> weak or "underprepared"<br />

students who express such attitudes. L<strong>in</strong>da Brodkey has concluded that some<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> cleverest students come to believe that read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g have little<br />

connection. In Michael Berbe's and Cary Nelson's Higher Education Under Fire,<br />

she recounts a story told by her own son, who avoided read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> texts on which<br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g assignments were based, "on <strong>the</strong> grounds that read<strong>in</strong>g would unnecessarily<br />

complicate his understand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> assignment and <strong>in</strong>crease <strong>the</strong> difficulty<br />

<strong>of</strong> produc<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>d <strong>of</strong> essay [characterized by verbal fluency] that his teachers<br />

wanted" (222). Paradoxically, he learned to write an acceptable "read<strong>in</strong>g" <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

text, without actually "read<strong>in</strong>g" <strong>the</strong> text himself. Even when students believe<br />

<strong>in</strong> some abstract way that read<strong>in</strong>g is good for <strong>the</strong>m and might make <strong>the</strong>m better<br />

writers, <strong>the</strong>y <strong>of</strong>ten wish that it were more pleasurable, less arduous. Many<br />

students have simply not developed <strong>the</strong> habits <strong>of</strong> m<strong>in</strong>d and language that make<br />

what Victor Nell calls "ludic read<strong>in</strong>g" possible. How, after all, can a student who<br />

f<strong>in</strong>ds thoroughly overwhelm<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> process <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g all but <strong>the</strong> most simple<br />

and straightforward texts become a better writer by read<strong>in</strong>g? <strong>The</strong> act <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

itself will not improve this student's writ<strong>in</strong>g abilities unless <strong>the</strong> connections<br />

between read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g are made explicit.<br />

<strong>The</strong> study <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g connections occurs <strong>in</strong> several discipl<strong>in</strong>ary<br />

sites, from literary <strong>the</strong>ory to composition studies to educational<br />

research. Not only reader response <strong>the</strong>orists but those <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong><br />

deconstruction, semiotics, and phenomenology claim that read<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g are <strong>in</strong>terrelated. Robert Scholes describes <strong>the</strong> connections between<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g as a "textual economy, <strong>in</strong> which pleasure and power are<br />

exchanged between producers and consumers <strong>of</strong> texts." As he says, "writers<br />

must consume <strong>in</strong> order to produce and readers ... must produce <strong>in</strong> order to<br />

consume" (Protocols 90). J. Hillis Miller has said, "Writ<strong>in</strong>g is a reflection<br />

and testimony to <strong>the</strong> habits <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> writer ... read<strong>in</strong>g is itself a k<strong>in</strong>d<br />

<strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g, or writ<strong>in</strong>g is a trope for <strong>the</strong> act <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g" (Olson 325). In <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

explorations <strong>of</strong> human language both Heidegger and Gadamer identify<br />

parallels between read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g. <strong>The</strong>orists <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> status <strong>of</strong><br />

literature as cultural discourse, and especially those, like Mark Turner, who<br />

are <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> connections between literary studies and cognitive<br />

science, have argued that we must see both read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g, regardless<br />

<strong>of</strong> specific products or contexts, as related acts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> human m<strong>in</strong>d. What<br />

all <strong>the</strong>se <strong>the</strong>ories <strong>in</strong>sist upon is <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>terdependency and similarity <strong>of</strong><br />

read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g.


456 <strong>JAC</strong><br />

Given how pervasive such <strong>the</strong>oretical assertions are among humanists<br />

Oiterary scholars <strong>in</strong> particular), it is perhaps surpris<strong>in</strong>g to discover that when<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g is studied <strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r discipl<strong>in</strong>ary contexts (<strong>in</strong> schools <strong>of</strong> education, for<br />

<strong>in</strong>stance) and by more empirical methods, <strong>the</strong> connections between read<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g cannot be asserted so unequivocally. <strong>The</strong> ERIC database <strong>in</strong>cludes<br />

numerous references to studies that fail to show a clear correlation between<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g "skills" and writ<strong>in</strong>g "ability."2 Even ethnographic approaches, which<br />

as humanists we usually f<strong>in</strong>d more sympa<strong>the</strong>tic than empirical ones, fail to prove<br />

that writers must also be readers. Deborah Brandt's work with autobiographies<br />

<strong>of</strong> literacy suggests that while people <strong>of</strong>ten have positive experiences with<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>ir experiences with learn<strong>in</strong>g to write are decidedly more ambiguous.<br />

Brandt also found that few people "regarded read<strong>in</strong>g as <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>in</strong>cipal means by<br />

which <strong>the</strong>y learned to write" (475). From her studies, she concluded that<br />

consider<strong>in</strong>g oneself part <strong>of</strong> a "writer's community" was <strong>of</strong>ten a much more<br />

formative experience for writers than was simply read<strong>in</strong>g widely. What<br />

memoirs <strong>of</strong> literacy also show, accord<strong>in</strong>g to Lorri Neilson's work with school<br />

teachers, is that early read<strong>in</strong>g experiences are <strong>of</strong>ten associated with maternity,<br />

nurtur<strong>in</strong>g, and sensuality, and yet learn<strong>in</strong>g to read <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> academic environment<br />

requires l<strong>in</strong>ear th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g coupled with a knowledge <strong>of</strong> rituals, rules, and conventions.<br />

As Neilson expla<strong>in</strong>s, "<strong>in</strong> order to survive <strong>in</strong> school, readers must ...<br />

participate <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> larger <strong>in</strong>stitutional narrative, or school text" (101), and what<br />

was once pleasurable becomes duty.<br />

Do Student Writers Really Need to Read?<br />

Such research <strong>in</strong>to read<strong>in</strong>g-writ<strong>in</strong>g connections should help us to understand<br />

better our students' sometimes conflicted relationship to both <strong>the</strong> consumption<br />

and production <strong>of</strong> texts. While "English teachers" (those who teach read<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g, regardless <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir departmental location) do sometimes <strong>in</strong>still <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

students a love <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> written word, <strong>the</strong> practices <strong>in</strong> required writ<strong>in</strong>g courses can<br />

sometimes dull a student's desire to read or to write. To quote L<strong>in</strong>da Brodkey:<br />

"composition <strong>in</strong>struction appears to have succeeded best at establish<strong>in</strong>g a lifelong<br />

aversion to writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> most people, who have learned to associate a desire<br />

to write with a set <strong>of</strong> punish<strong>in</strong>g exercises called writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> school" (220). In <strong>the</strong><br />

face <strong>of</strong>this aversion to writ<strong>in</strong>g, different pedagogical approaches have emerged.<br />

It seems that many teachers have concluded that <strong>the</strong>y can make students <strong>in</strong>to<br />

better writers by help<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong>ir own voices and by teach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m<br />

critical th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g strategies. Or <strong>the</strong>y can make students <strong>in</strong>to better readers, by<br />

develop<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir patterns <strong>of</strong> comprehension and help<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m to identify a text's<br />

central concerns and strategies for develop<strong>in</strong>g those concerns. But can <strong>the</strong>y do<br />

both at once <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same course? To focus too much on read<strong>in</strong>g may be to sacrifice<br />

student writ<strong>in</strong>g; to focus too much on student writ<strong>in</strong>g may be to short-change <strong>the</strong><br />

process aimed at mak<strong>in</strong>g students more adept at critical read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> complex texts.<br />

This dilemma becomes most difficult for those <strong>of</strong> us who teach both literature<br />

and composition <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same course. In a typical literature surveyor <strong>the</strong>me


<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong> 457<br />

course, our selection <strong>of</strong> texts primarily reflects what we want students to know<br />

about at <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> course. In a composition course choices are <strong>in</strong>fluenced<br />

more by what we want students to be able to do as <strong>the</strong> course unfolds. And if <strong>the</strong><br />

course has been designed so that teach<strong>in</strong>g literature and teach<strong>in</strong>g composition<br />

must be <strong>in</strong>tegrated, this tension between know<strong>in</strong>g and do<strong>in</strong>g becomes palpable.<br />

<strong>Composition</strong>ists <strong>the</strong>mselves have not been without ambivalence toward<br />

<strong>the</strong> importance <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> improv<strong>in</strong>g student writ<strong>in</strong>g. We are perhaps most<br />

likely to f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g process privileged to <strong>the</strong> act <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> advanced<br />

composition and pr<strong>of</strong>essional writ<strong>in</strong>g courses, where students are encouraged<br />

to move beyond <strong>the</strong> conventions <strong>of</strong> academic writ<strong>in</strong>g and where "models" for<br />

develop<strong>in</strong>g such flexibility may be few. But even <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> freshman course <strong>in</strong><br />

"academic writ<strong>in</strong>g," read<strong>in</strong>g may not playas important a role as practic<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong>vention strategies, improv<strong>in</strong>g flawed paragraphs, or revis<strong>in</strong>g sample sentences.<br />

Occasionally, <strong>in</strong> this context, <strong>the</strong> question is phrased not as "What shall<br />

we read?" but as "Shall we read?" One 1983 text, clearly geared for <strong>the</strong><br />

"<strong>in</strong>troduction to teach<strong>in</strong>g composition" course, devotes only a page to <strong>the</strong><br />

problem <strong>of</strong> assign<strong>in</strong>g what is called "collateral read<strong>in</strong>g."3 <strong>The</strong> book advises<br />

teachers to select an anthology <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>gs only after consciously decid<strong>in</strong>g that<br />

students really do need to read <strong>in</strong> a writ<strong>in</strong>g course. Strangely, teachers are <strong>of</strong>fered<br />

two, apparently equally acceptable op<strong>in</strong>ions to help <strong>the</strong>m make this decision:<br />

Ann Berth<strong>of</strong>f's that "compos<strong>in</strong>g is best nurtured by <strong>in</strong>terpret<strong>in</strong>g texts, " and Peter<br />

Elbow's that <strong>the</strong> students' own writ<strong>in</strong>g is <strong>the</strong> only writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>y can take seriously.<br />

While more recent texts on composition practice, for example Thomas Newkirk's<br />

Nuts and Bolts and Chris Anson's Scenarios for Teach<strong>in</strong>g Writ<strong>in</strong>g, give more<br />

attention to <strong>the</strong> selection and use <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>gs, read<strong>in</strong>g is hardly seen as central<br />

to composition courses. Similarly, concern with read<strong>in</strong>g shifts fairly quickly <strong>in</strong><br />

many recent articles from <strong>the</strong> motives and goals <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g to a specific concern<br />

with teach<strong>in</strong>g students how to syn<strong>the</strong>size multiple sources or to write research<br />

papers: <strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r words, from why we should teach read<strong>in</strong>g to how we can teach<br />

students to use read<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

How much we make students read has also become a bone <strong>of</strong> contention<br />

among writ<strong>in</strong>g teachers. Could too much read<strong>in</strong>g even be counterproductive<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition classroom? In his essay <strong>in</strong> Redraw<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Boundaries: <strong>The</strong><br />

Transformation <strong>of</strong> English andAmerican Literary Studies, RichardMarius argues<br />

that we should "agree to teach students how to expla<strong>in</strong> texts, especially texts<br />

about ideas" (475), but he also argues that we should "limit<strong>the</strong>texts that students<br />

read and write about <strong>in</strong> a writ<strong>in</strong>g course" to about a hundred pages-which is<br />

probably far less read<strong>in</strong>g than most text-oriented composition courses currently<br />

require. "Give students too many sources," he claims, and <strong>the</strong>y will produce<br />

"falsely authoritative papers about subjects that quickly become too much for<br />

<strong>the</strong>m" (476). However well-<strong>in</strong>tentioned, such discussions always leave a l<strong>in</strong>ger<strong>in</strong>g<br />

suspicion that compositionists are afraid that teachers might spend too much<br />

time discuss<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>gs and too little time hav<strong>in</strong>g students freewrite or share<br />

drafts-<strong>the</strong> real work <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition classroom.


458 <strong>JAC</strong><br />

Such fears are certa<strong>in</strong>ly less about <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g selections <strong>the</strong>mselves than<br />

about how both students and teachers use read<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g courses. And from<br />

what most commentators suggest, <strong>the</strong> problem lies more with <strong>the</strong> teachers and<br />

how <strong>the</strong>y def<strong>in</strong>e read<strong>in</strong>g, than with <strong>the</strong> students <strong>the</strong>mselves. Mariol<strong>in</strong>a Salvatori<br />

describes her own evolv<strong>in</strong>g response to William Coles's 1974 argument aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> composition courses: "ra<strong>the</strong>r than judg<strong>in</strong>g Coles's statement as a<br />

blanket and arbitrary <strong>in</strong>dictment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> presence <strong>of</strong> 'read<strong>in</strong>g' <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition<br />

classroom . . . I began to see that what Coles was <strong>in</strong>dict<strong>in</strong>g was a particularly<br />

enervated, atrophied k<strong>in</strong>d <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g," which characterized not just <strong>the</strong> teach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong><br />

composition but<strong>the</strong> teach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong>literature (442). Most composition textbooks have<br />

presented students with a def<strong>in</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g that emphasizes <strong>the</strong> reader's mastery<br />

and control over<strong>the</strong> text. Kurt Spellmeyer contends that even though most widelyused<br />

composition textbooks encourage active read<strong>in</strong>g, "<strong>the</strong>y still def<strong>in</strong>e it as l<strong>in</strong>ear,<br />

acontextual, monological" (56). As composition studies has emerged as a dist<strong>in</strong>ct<br />

discipl<strong>in</strong>e, some scholars have tried to def<strong>in</strong>e read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> more complex and useful<br />

ways. For example, David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky, <strong>in</strong> Facts and<br />

Counter/acts: <strong>The</strong>ory and Method for a <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> and Writ<strong>in</strong>g Course (1986), <strong>of</strong>fer a<br />

description <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g as a transformative and constructive process. Ra<strong>the</strong>r than<br />

ask<strong>in</strong>g students to f<strong>in</strong>d a "controll<strong>in</strong>g idea" <strong>in</strong> a text, ask <strong>the</strong>m to "assign significance"<br />

to it: "When a student moves to account for<strong>the</strong> significance <strong>of</strong> what she has noticed,<br />

<strong>the</strong> compet<strong>in</strong>g demands <strong>of</strong> convention and idiosyncrasy are perhaps most dramatically<br />

and illustratively felt" (21). Apparently, when students respond to texts <strong>in</strong> this<br />

way, <strong>the</strong>y can be asked to read more than <strong>the</strong>y can where read<strong>in</strong>g is def<strong>in</strong>ed as<br />

mastery <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> text. In contrast to <strong>the</strong> lOO-page "limit" to which Mariuswouldhold<br />

his Harvard freshmen, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> basic writ<strong>in</strong>g course that Bartholomae and Petrosky<br />

describe, students read six required books and four o<strong>the</strong>rs <strong>the</strong>y choose on <strong>the</strong>ir own.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y also read significant amounts <strong>of</strong> student writ<strong>in</strong>g. Not only <strong>the</strong> amount <strong>of</strong><br />

read<strong>in</strong>g but <strong>the</strong> careful <strong>in</strong>tegration <strong>of</strong> student and "pr<strong>of</strong>essional" forms <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

dist<strong>in</strong>guish this course from <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>d <strong>of</strong> course where texts are assigned so that<br />

teachers can "teach for students' understand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> texts and for <strong>the</strong>ir ability to<br />

convey <strong>the</strong>ir understand<strong>in</strong>g to readers" (Marius476). Whenwecompare<strong>the</strong>course<br />

that Bartholomae and Petrosky describe with <strong>the</strong> composition course that Marius<br />

describes we see two quite different <strong>the</strong>ories <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g emerge. For Bartholomae<br />

and Petrosky, read<strong>in</strong>g is part <strong>of</strong> a complex process <strong>of</strong> f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g ways to respond to<br />

ideas and to construct ideas. In contrast, <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong>ory <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g that <strong>in</strong>forms a course<br />

like <strong>the</strong> one Marius describes seems highly functional: We read to understand, and<br />

we write to reflect that understand<strong>in</strong>g. Thus, by ask<strong>in</strong>g students to read less, we<br />

<strong>in</strong>sure that students will understand more <strong>of</strong> what <strong>the</strong>y read. This claim seems<br />

doubtful, unless students come to understand read<strong>in</strong>g as transactional and understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

as a carefully negotiated process between reader and text.<br />

Literacy and Literature<br />

Decisions about whe<strong>the</strong>r to read, how much to read, and what to read are<br />

undoubtedly <strong>in</strong>fluenced by <strong>in</strong>stitutional concerns and <strong>in</strong>securities. One writer


<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong> 459<br />

worries that an <strong>in</strong>sistence on <strong>the</strong> connections between read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g will<br />

weaken <strong>in</strong>dependent writ<strong>in</strong>g programs (Olson 324), while ano<strong>the</strong>r fears that by<br />

remov<strong>in</strong>g literature from <strong>the</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g classroom, English composition courses<br />

will become little more than service courses for o<strong>the</strong>r discipl<strong>in</strong>es (Tate," A<br />

Place" 320). While many writ<strong>in</strong>g programs are located <strong>in</strong> English departments,<br />

where literature is <strong>the</strong> predom<strong>in</strong>ant pr<strong>of</strong>essional concern, some <strong>in</strong>stitutions<br />

have moved to freestand<strong>in</strong>g writ<strong>in</strong>g programs with adm<strong>in</strong>istrative and Oess<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten) curricular autonomy. At o<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong>stitutions, writ<strong>in</strong>g courses have sprung<br />

up <strong>in</strong> a variety <strong>of</strong> departments <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> humanities and even <strong>the</strong> social sciences.<br />

Clearly, writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>struction is no longer strictly <strong>the</strong> prov<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>of</strong> English<br />

departments where literature is privileged over o<strong>the</strong>r k<strong>in</strong>ds <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g<br />

student writ<strong>in</strong>g. Yet despite what seems to be a tendency to situate writ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

courses outside <strong>of</strong> English departments, many humanists assert not just <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>terdependence <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g, but <strong>the</strong> dependence <strong>of</strong> literature and<br />

composition on one ano<strong>the</strong>r. In Literacy and <strong>the</strong> Survival <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Humanities,<br />

Richard Lanham argues that "Literature can never absent itself from <strong>the</strong> 'real'<br />

world, nor composition do without literature and literary criticism"-an<br />

idealistic argument frequently belied by <strong>in</strong>stitutional structures and attitudes<br />

that relegate literature and composition to separate and <strong>of</strong>ten unequal realms<br />

(111).<br />

As we consider <strong>the</strong> various arguments about where writ<strong>in</strong>g should be taught<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> academy and by whom-arguments that <strong>of</strong>ten arise <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same context<br />

as those about what we should be read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g courses-we should<br />

probably remember that writ<strong>in</strong>g courses, especially those required <strong>of</strong> all<br />

students early <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir undergraduate careers, have always had a socializ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

element, if not explicit goal, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir design. As Susan Miller has shown, <strong>the</strong> goal<br />

<strong>of</strong> composition <strong>in</strong>struction <strong>in</strong> American higher education has historically been<br />

to show that good writ<strong>in</strong>g is "a matter <strong>of</strong> politeness and good breed<strong>in</strong>g" (55), and<br />

<strong>the</strong> purpose <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> "freshman course" was to "assimilate unentitled, newly<br />

admitted students <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> late n<strong>in</strong>eteenth century 'new university'" (55,79). Even<br />

today, across <strong>the</strong> nation, <strong>the</strong>freshman writ<strong>in</strong>g course, along with its prerequisite<br />

for "underprepared" students, <strong>the</strong> "basic writ<strong>in</strong>g" course, serves as a site where<br />

new undergraduates are not only provided with <strong>the</strong> verbal skills needed for<br />

academic success but also made cognizant <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> culture and organization <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

college or university to which <strong>the</strong>y have been admitted. When, several years ago,<br />

<strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> California took steps to elim<strong>in</strong>ate on its various campuses <strong>the</strong><br />

courses that fulfilled <strong>the</strong> century-old "Subject A" requirement (courses whose<br />

"remedial" nature was debated endlessly), one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong> oppos<strong>in</strong>g arguments<br />

focused on <strong>the</strong> socializ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>fluence <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se courses for "at-ris k"students-those<br />

first-generation college students who would presumably have no o<strong>the</strong>r source<br />

for learn<strong>in</strong>g how <strong>the</strong> academic system works. If we consider <strong>the</strong> freshman course<br />

as a tool for level<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> play<strong>in</strong>g field for students whose race, class, or ethnicity<br />

has deprived <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong> some way, how does this affect our read<strong>in</strong>g selections?<br />

Katha Pollitt suggests that for those on ei<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> left or right <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> canon debates,


460 <strong>JAC</strong><br />

"<strong>The</strong> chief end <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g is to produce a desirable k<strong>in</strong>d <strong>of</strong> society. A respectful,<br />

high-m<strong>in</strong>ded citizen <strong>of</strong> a unified society for <strong>the</strong> conservatives, an up-to-date and<br />

flexible sort for <strong>the</strong> liberals, a subgroup-identified, robustly confident one for <strong>the</strong><br />

radicals" (24). If this assertion is even partially true, is it surpris<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>n, that<br />

some composition <strong>in</strong>structors, who def<strong>in</strong>e as <strong>the</strong>ir goal a desire to empower each<br />

student's written voice (<strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r words, to "liberate" ra<strong>the</strong>r than "produce"<br />

students), see read<strong>in</strong>g as beside <strong>the</strong> po<strong>in</strong>t <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir classrooms?<br />

Perhaps no where is <strong>the</strong> ideological debate about read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> composition<br />

classroom as polarized as <strong>in</strong> what has come to be known as <strong>the</strong> "Tate-L<strong>in</strong>demann<br />

Debate" on <strong>the</strong> question <strong>of</strong> whe<strong>the</strong>r literature has any role <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> freshman English<br />

course. 4 Just as my graduate student <strong>in</strong>structors def<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>the</strong> freshman course by<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir textual preferences, so too does this debate about literature <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition<br />

classroom raise questions about <strong>the</strong> goals and purpose <strong>of</strong> composition courses.<br />

L<strong>in</strong>demann beg<strong>in</strong>s by argu<strong>in</strong>g that <strong>the</strong> focus <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> freshman course should<br />

be academic discourse, and that literary texts serve no function <strong>in</strong> provid<strong>in</strong>g<br />

students with this <strong>in</strong>troduction to, <strong>in</strong> her words, "<strong>the</strong> process whereby writers<br />

and readers enter <strong>the</strong> conversation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> academy and beg<strong>in</strong> to contribute to <strong>the</strong><br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> knowledge" ("No Place" 313). And not only is literature irrelevant<br />

to <strong>the</strong> goals <strong>of</strong> freshman English, it focuses students on <strong>the</strong> consumption ra<strong>the</strong>r<br />

than production <strong>of</strong> texts and silences students' voices. Literary language, with<br />

its limited usefulness, is taught not as language to emulate, but as language to<br />

appreciate. And f<strong>in</strong>ally, she says, a literature-based course neglects <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>terdiscipl<strong>in</strong>ary<br />

nature <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>terpretation. Textua1ity is more important <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> humanities<br />

than <strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r discipl<strong>in</strong>es, and students need to understand what constitutes<br />

evidence <strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r discipl<strong>in</strong>es. Anticipat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> humanist's arguments about <strong>the</strong><br />

value <strong>of</strong>literature, L<strong>in</strong>demann concludes with an exhortation: "Instead <strong>of</strong> ask<strong>in</strong>g<br />

our students to write about what it means to be educated, let us assist <strong>the</strong>m to jo<strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> conversations an education enables" ("No Place" 316).<br />

<strong>The</strong> tone <strong>of</strong> Tate's response to L<strong>in</strong>demann is elegiac, and his vocabularyhowever<br />

tongue-<strong>in</strong>-cheek it is <strong>in</strong>tended to be-evokes images <strong>of</strong> warfare,<br />

bloodshed, and submission. He beg<strong>in</strong>s by express<strong>in</strong>g regret that hav<strong>in</strong>g surrendered<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1960s to <strong>the</strong> "Rhetoric Police" (whom at one po<strong>in</strong>t he likens to <strong>the</strong><br />

KG B), "we have lost most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> texts that body forth that imag<strong>in</strong>ation and that<br />

style whose pass<strong>in</strong>g I mourn" (318). And <strong>the</strong> loss is not just forteachers, he claims:<br />

"We have denied students who are seek<strong>in</strong>g to improve <strong>the</strong>ir writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> benefits<br />

<strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g an entire body <strong>of</strong> excellent writ<strong>in</strong>g" (317). Tate questions <strong>the</strong> ability<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> freshman course-more specifically, perhaps, <strong>the</strong> ability <strong>of</strong> those who<br />

teach <strong>the</strong>se courses-to provide <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>terdiscipl<strong>in</strong>ary awareness that L<strong>in</strong>demann<br />

seeks to foster. Why not teach what English teachers know best, he asks? It is<br />

not writ<strong>in</strong>g across <strong>the</strong> curriculum that should be our project, he says, but writ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

beyond <strong>the</strong> discipl<strong>in</strong>es. In <strong>the</strong> end he challenges not just L<strong>in</strong>demann's assumptions<br />

about <strong>the</strong> goals <strong>of</strong> freshman English, but her def<strong>in</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> education. "I am<br />

conv<strong>in</strong>ced," he says, "that true education, as opposed to tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, is concerned<br />

with much more than we f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> various academic discipl<strong>in</strong>es" -but which


<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong> 461<br />

we are certa<strong>in</strong> to f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>in</strong> "literature" (321).<br />

I have summarized <strong>the</strong>se arguments <strong>in</strong> some detail, because <strong>the</strong>y reveal such<br />

different views <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g, not only <strong>in</strong> what <strong>the</strong>y say specifically<br />

about read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> college curriculum, but <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> ways <strong>the</strong>y each<br />

read and write <strong>the</strong>ir own and each o<strong>the</strong>r's arguments. As one <strong>of</strong> my graduate<br />

students said after read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>se essays, "I knew that I should somehow be<br />

persuaded by L<strong>in</strong>demann's arguments, but my sympathies rema<strong>in</strong>ed with Tate."<br />

Given <strong>the</strong> radically different rhetorical strategies <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> two essays-for example,<br />

<strong>the</strong> dependence on logic and evidence <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> first and <strong>the</strong> appeal to ethics<br />

and emotion <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> second-I f<strong>in</strong>d it difficult to resolve <strong>the</strong> differences. Many<br />

who have responded to <strong>the</strong>se pieces have been right to see that ideology <strong>in</strong>forms<br />

both arguments. <strong>The</strong> desire to "return" literature to its "rightful place" <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

composition classroom is viewed by some as a k<strong>in</strong>d <strong>of</strong> romantic nostalgia,<br />

deeply-entrenched elitism, or both, while to o<strong>the</strong>rs, <strong>the</strong> emphasis on "academic<br />

discourse" betrays a misguided attempt to "pr<strong>of</strong>essionalize" <strong>the</strong> undergraduate<br />

curriculum. What seems clear from this debate is that our choices about what<br />

texts to read reverberate far beyond <strong>the</strong> walls <strong>of</strong> our own classrooms.<br />

While this debate reveals much about <strong>the</strong> politics <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g, especially <strong>the</strong><br />

politics <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g literature, it reveals little about <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dividual experience <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> reader who confronts a text. If we accept, as both sides <strong>in</strong> this debate agree,<br />

that a student will experience <strong>the</strong> literary text differently than, say, <strong>the</strong> text <strong>of</strong><br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r student, why does this happen? What are <strong>the</strong>se differences and how do<br />

we account for <strong>the</strong>se differences to ourselves and to our students? <strong>The</strong> answer<br />

to this question moves us beyond <strong>the</strong> virtues <strong>of</strong> particular k<strong>in</strong>ds <strong>of</strong> texts to <strong>the</strong><br />

nature <strong>of</strong> all texts <strong>in</strong> shap<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> writer's development. Fur<strong>the</strong>rmore, <strong>in</strong> an age<br />

where technology is radically alter<strong>in</strong>g our culture, we can hardly afford to see<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g as merely <strong>the</strong> process <strong>of</strong> decod<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> words on a pr<strong>in</strong>ted page. In fact,<br />

we cannot afford to see a "text" as merely <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>in</strong>ted word. <strong>The</strong> "texts" that our<br />

students read and write can all be described, <strong>in</strong> Robert Schole's words, as "places<br />

where power and weakness become visible and discussible, where learn<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

ignorance manifest <strong>the</strong>mselves, where structures that enable and constra<strong>in</strong> our<br />

thoughts and actions become palpable" (Textual Power xi). This broader<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> "text" opens us not just to <strong>the</strong> possibilities for literature <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

classroom, but to a wider range <strong>of</strong> text material than we might have considered<br />

before.<br />

Argu<strong>in</strong>g about whe<strong>the</strong>r to restore literature to <strong>the</strong> composition classroom<br />

or banish it for good distracts us from perhaps <strong>the</strong> most important issue about<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g we will face <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> next century. Even now, students need to learn how<br />

to "read" a wider variety <strong>of</strong> "texts" than ever before. For example, Carolyn<br />

Ericksen Hill uses her students' own observations-what she calls <strong>the</strong>ir "read<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

about <strong>the</strong>ir worlds" -as an analogy <strong>of</strong> sorts for <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g process:<br />

"Encourag<strong>in</strong>g students to th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir observations as read<strong>in</strong>gs to be tested<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>st those <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs will help <strong>the</strong>m learn to revise <strong>the</strong>ir <strong>in</strong>itial read<strong>in</strong>gs" (203,<br />

204). We must recognize that texts are no longer necessarily l<strong>in</strong>ear-as "read<strong>in</strong>g"


462 <strong>JAC</strong><br />

hypertext fiction or surf<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> World Wide Web clearly demonstrates. In<br />

contrast to <strong>the</strong> process <strong>of</strong> review, edit<strong>in</strong>g, and market<strong>in</strong>g that characterizes<br />

traditional publish<strong>in</strong>g, publish<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>the</strong> Web requires little morethan technological<br />

skills (<strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r words, <strong>the</strong> ability to construct an effective web page).<br />

Authors can f<strong>in</strong>d an audience without hav<strong>in</strong>g any particular knowledge <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

subject or any mastery <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> strategies <strong>of</strong> persuasion. Thus, uncritical read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

becomes more dangerous here than anywhere. Issues <strong>of</strong> power and empowerment,<br />

<strong>of</strong> deception and manipulation, must <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly become part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

connections between read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition classroom. Wherevertexts<br />

are be<strong>in</strong>g constructed, issues <strong>of</strong> voice and authority are always evident.<br />

By teach<strong>in</strong>g students howto produce <strong>the</strong>ir own read<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>of</strong> a variety <strong>of</strong> different<br />

k<strong>in</strong>ds <strong>of</strong> texts, we empower <strong>the</strong>m as participants <strong>in</strong> an ever chang<strong>in</strong>g and ever<br />

widen<strong>in</strong>g conversation. In recogniz<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> power structures <strong>in</strong>herent <strong>in</strong> texts,<br />

readers can beg<strong>in</strong>, <strong>in</strong> Freire's phrase, to "read <strong>the</strong> world."<br />

What is <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong>?<br />

Despite <strong>the</strong> k<strong>in</strong>ds <strong>of</strong> rifts and rivalries that exist between "literature" and<br />

"composition," both discipl<strong>in</strong>es have shared over <strong>the</strong> last half century a<br />

similarly evolv<strong>in</strong>g view <strong>of</strong> textuality. As Mart<strong>in</strong> Nystrand, Stuart Greene, and<br />

Jeffrey Wiemelt show <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir "<strong>in</strong>tellectual history" <strong>of</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> Studies,<br />

parallel concerns about <strong>the</strong> problem <strong>of</strong> mean<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> discourse have characterized<br />

<strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> l<strong>in</strong>guistics, literary <strong>the</strong>ory, and composition dur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> last<br />

half century. All three fields have evolved through four dist<strong>in</strong>ct phases: from<br />

formalist conceptions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> text as autonomous; to constructivism's understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> text as a translation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> author's thoughts; to <strong>the</strong> social<br />

constructionist's view that <strong>the</strong> text is a set <strong>of</strong> discourse conventions; and f<strong>in</strong>ally,<br />

to a dialogic view <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> text as representative <strong>of</strong> a semiotic meditation between<br />

writer and reader. Along with <strong>the</strong>se chang<strong>in</strong>g notions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> text have come<br />

chang<strong>in</strong>g def<strong>in</strong>itions <strong>of</strong> reader and writer and even <strong>of</strong>language itself (302). Thus,<br />

it is not just compositionists but literary critics as well who see mean<strong>in</strong>g not as<br />

resid<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> text, but as generated <strong>in</strong> adynamic that <strong>in</strong>volves <strong>the</strong> text with both<br />

readers and a social context. As a result, <strong>the</strong> focus <strong>in</strong> both literature and<br />

composition studies has "shifted away from elite text forms to far more blurred<br />

genres <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly associated with popular culture and <strong>the</strong> everyday social<br />

world" (305). Reth<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> nature and value <strong>of</strong> texts has made both<br />

compositionists and literary critics reth<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> act <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Most <strong>of</strong> us will agree that not all read<strong>in</strong>gs are <strong>the</strong> same, even <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> same text.<br />

Whe<strong>the</strong>r we accept that each text will produce a diversity <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>terpretations, or<br />

<strong>in</strong>sist that some read<strong>in</strong>gs are more "correct" than o<strong>the</strong>rs, we must also recognize<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>evitability <strong>of</strong> misread<strong>in</strong>gs, which occur with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same dynamic process<br />

that more "correct" or "conv<strong>in</strong>c<strong>in</strong>g" read<strong>in</strong>gs do. So what are <strong>the</strong> differences <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>se different ways <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g? Kathleen McCormick, <strong>in</strong> <strong>The</strong> Culture a/<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong><br />

and <strong>the</strong> Teach<strong>in</strong>g 0/ English, <strong>of</strong>fers three broad models <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g that help us to<br />

understand <strong>the</strong> ways <strong>in</strong> which readers approach <strong>the</strong> act <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g. Each model


<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong> 463<br />

recognizes <strong>the</strong> roles <strong>of</strong> reader, text, and social context <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g process, but<br />

<strong>the</strong> dynamic relationship among <strong>the</strong>se roles differs from model to model. <strong>The</strong><br />

"cognitive model" <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g, which has, accord<strong>in</strong>g to McCormick, long dom<strong>in</strong>ated<br />

our th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g about read<strong>in</strong>g, assumes that read<strong>in</strong>g comprehension" occurs as<br />

a result <strong>of</strong> a reader's purely 'mental' capabilities" (17). <strong>The</strong> cognitive model<br />

describes read<strong>in</strong>g as a hierarchy <strong>of</strong> abstract skills developed <strong>in</strong> readers <strong>in</strong> order to<br />

help <strong>the</strong>m produce a correct read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> a text. In contrast, <strong>the</strong>" expressivist model"<br />

<strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g privileges <strong>the</strong> reader's experience <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g process. <strong>The</strong> goal <strong>of</strong><br />

expressivist read<strong>in</strong>g is not, <strong>the</strong>n, to <strong>of</strong>fer a correct read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> a text, but to "give<br />

students <strong>the</strong> authority to create <strong>the</strong>ir own texts" by <strong>in</strong>tegrat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> perspectives <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> text with <strong>the</strong>ir own experiences (38). <strong>The</strong> cognitive and expressivist models <strong>of</strong><br />

read<strong>in</strong>g clearly stand <strong>in</strong> dialectical opposition to one ano<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

McCormick's third model, <strong>the</strong> "social-cultural model" <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g, moves<br />

beyond <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>in</strong>ted text and sees read<strong>in</strong>g as a process that occurs all <strong>the</strong> time and<br />

<strong>in</strong> all k<strong>in</strong>ds <strong>of</strong> contexts. This model <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g describes <strong>the</strong> reader as "balanced<br />

between autonomy [<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sort claimed by <strong>the</strong> expressivist model] and social<br />

determ<strong>in</strong>ation [a result <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g accord<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> cognitive model]" (52). <strong>The</strong><br />

goal <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g is thus to produce a "negotiated version" <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> text. As teachers,<br />

we hope to cultivate students who can "develop more historicized self-reflective<br />

and resistant read<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>of</strong> texts, and thus become more active producers <strong>of</strong> texts"<br />

(52). In McCormick's analysis, <strong>the</strong> social-cultural model <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g seems <strong>the</strong><br />

model most likely to produce what she calls "critical literacy": "<strong>the</strong> ability to<br />

perceive <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>terconnectedness <strong>of</strong> social conditions and practices, and to<br />

possess <strong>the</strong> critical and political awareness to take action with<strong>in</strong> and aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

<strong>the</strong>m" (49). And yet, oddly, McCormick stops short <strong>of</strong> advocacy: "I am not<br />

argu<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>the</strong> wholesale takeover <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r models by this model, but ra<strong>the</strong>r<br />

for <strong>the</strong> active development <strong>of</strong> genu<strong>in</strong>e dialogue among all approaches" (14).<br />

What McCormick seems to be suggest<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> this disclaimer is that even a socialcultural<br />

model <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g can hardly avoid <strong>the</strong> essential issue <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

comprehension-an issue privileged <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> cognitive model and m<strong>in</strong>imized <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> expressivist model. It might even be useful to see <strong>the</strong> categories that<br />

McCormick def<strong>in</strong>es as progressively more sophisticated ways <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g that<br />

we can encourage students to develop over time.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se categories clearly have important implications for course design.<br />

In describ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> historical development <strong>of</strong> three different models <strong>of</strong><br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> composition courses, Erika L<strong>in</strong>demann uses categories that are<br />

strik<strong>in</strong>gly similar to those McCormick devises to describe read<strong>in</strong>g. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

models <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g help L<strong>in</strong>demann to answer broader questions about<br />

course design: who is <strong>the</strong> teacher? who is <strong>the</strong> student? what should students<br />

read? what should <strong>the</strong>y write? and how should <strong>the</strong>ir writ<strong>in</strong>g be evaluated?<br />

By understand<strong>in</strong>g how teachers with different <strong>the</strong>oretical perspectives<br />

understand <strong>the</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g process, we can beg<strong>in</strong>, L<strong>in</strong>demann suggests, to<br />

understand someth<strong>in</strong>g about <strong>the</strong> goals <strong>of</strong> different k<strong>in</strong>ds <strong>of</strong> freshman composition<br />

courses.


464 <strong>JAC</strong><br />

Each <strong>the</strong>ory <strong>of</strong> "writ<strong>in</strong>g" evokes a similar <strong>the</strong>ory <strong>of</strong> "read<strong>in</strong>g," and <strong>in</strong> turn,<br />

dictates specific choices about what to read <strong>in</strong> composition courses. In a "writ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

as product" course, <strong>the</strong> focus is on texts, both "pr<strong>of</strong>essional" texts (preferably<br />

literary texts) and student texts. In this environment, <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essional texts exist<br />

as a source <strong>of</strong> ideas and as stylistic models for <strong>the</strong> student texts, which <strong>in</strong> turn<br />

are created to demonstrate <strong>the</strong> student's pr<strong>of</strong>iciency <strong>in</strong> "forms, formulas,<br />

term<strong>in</strong>ology, and rules" ("Three Views" 293). L<strong>in</strong>demann's second model,<br />

"writ<strong>in</strong>g as process," focuses on student experience and student <strong>in</strong>terests. This<br />

view <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g focuses not on <strong>the</strong> forms and conventions <strong>of</strong> a f<strong>in</strong>al product but<br />

on <strong>in</strong>vention, practice, revision, and <strong>the</strong> community <strong>of</strong> writers such a classroom<br />

creates. While occasionally published texts help students to understand subjects<br />

or processes, student texts take center stage <strong>in</strong> a classroom based on this <strong>the</strong>ory<br />

<strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g. In L<strong>in</strong>demann's third model (which, like McCormick's third model<br />

<strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g, seems to transcend <strong>the</strong> weaknesses <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r two models), "writ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

as system," <strong>the</strong> process <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g is contextualized: "a way <strong>of</strong> liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> social<br />

groups, <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>teract<strong>in</strong>g with o<strong>the</strong>rs and hav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong>teract with us" (296). Work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

collaboratively, students read texts from a variety <strong>of</strong> discipl<strong>in</strong>ary perspectives and<br />

practice creat<strong>in</strong>g texts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own, designed to <strong>in</strong>form or persuade members <strong>of</strong><br />

different discourse communities. Accord<strong>in</strong>g to L<strong>in</strong>demann, teachers who create<br />

courses based on this def<strong>in</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g "have helped us direct writ<strong>in</strong>g back <strong>in</strong>to<br />

<strong>the</strong> world, rem<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g us <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> social context <strong>of</strong> all rhetorical activity" (299).<br />

Thus, what we ask students to read <strong>in</strong> our courses reflects both our <strong>the</strong>ories<br />

<strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g and our <strong>the</strong>ories <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g. How we want students to see <strong>the</strong>mselves<br />

as writers will <strong>in</strong>fluence our choices about <strong>the</strong> tasks we give <strong>the</strong>m as writers.<br />

Signficantly, both McCormick and L<strong>in</strong>deman <strong>in</strong>sist that <strong>the</strong>se categories are not<br />

mutually exclusive, ra<strong>the</strong>r that different ways <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g or <strong>of</strong> describ<strong>in</strong>g writ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

may be appropriate <strong>in</strong> different contexts and for different purposes. <strong>The</strong><br />

question, <strong>the</strong>n, is how we can help students to recognize <strong>the</strong>ir own patterns and<br />

preferences as readers, <strong>the</strong>ir own needs and concerns as writers.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ories <strong>of</strong> <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> for <strong>the</strong> Writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Classroom</strong><br />

For <strong>the</strong> students, an understand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> different models <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g must be<br />

developed deliberately and consciously. Students can be told how readers read,<br />

but until <strong>the</strong>y really understand read<strong>in</strong>g from <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>side out, such advice will<br />

have little impact on how <strong>the</strong>y structure and develop <strong>the</strong>ir own texts. In Th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Through <strong>The</strong>ory, J ames Thomas Zebroski has proposed that one goal <strong>of</strong> any<br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g course should be for <strong>the</strong> students <strong>the</strong>mselves "to compose and revise<br />

a <strong>the</strong>ory <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g" (29). If we want our students to recognize that read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and writ<strong>in</strong>g are <strong>in</strong>terconnected processes, it seems only logical that <strong>the</strong> goal<br />

<strong>of</strong> a composition course should also be to help students compose a <strong>the</strong>ory<br />

<strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g-or perhaps more specifically to compose <strong>the</strong>ories <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g that<br />

will help <strong>the</strong>m to understand <strong>the</strong>ir relationship to <strong>the</strong> act <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

different contexts.


<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong> 465<br />

First, our students need to understand that as readers <strong>the</strong>y are always<br />

actively constitut<strong>in</strong>g mean<strong>in</strong>g, not just receiv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>formation. Reader-response<br />

<strong>the</strong>ories <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> text <strong>of</strong>fer <strong>the</strong> advantage <strong>of</strong> allow<strong>in</strong>g us to ignore <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly<br />

artificial dist<strong>in</strong>ction between literary and non-literary texts and focus <strong>in</strong>stead on<br />

how a text is read. We beg<strong>in</strong> to see that each text <strong>in</strong>scribes <strong>the</strong> roles <strong>of</strong> reader<br />

and audience and provides clues to ways <strong>in</strong> which <strong>the</strong> social context <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and writ<strong>in</strong>g can be used to construct mean<strong>in</strong>g. Louise Rosenblatt's widelydissem<strong>in</strong>ated<br />

dist<strong>in</strong>ction between efferent read<strong>in</strong>g, where <strong>the</strong> reader's primary<br />

concern <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> act <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g is what he will carry away from <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g, and<br />

aes<strong>the</strong>tic read<strong>in</strong>g, where <strong>the</strong> reader's attention is centered directly on what he<br />

is liv<strong>in</strong>g through dur<strong>in</strong>g his relationship with <strong>the</strong> text, helps us to see how both<br />

literary and non-literary texts might be read <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same way. Fur<strong>the</strong>rmore, by<br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g our student readers more aware <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own experience <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g, we<br />

can make <strong>the</strong>m better aware <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ways <strong>in</strong> which <strong>the</strong>ir own texts communicate.<br />

Second, our students should recognize that <strong>the</strong>ir expectations <strong>of</strong> a text <strong>of</strong>ten<br />

shape <strong>the</strong>ir responses to it. Audience-oriented explanations <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

process rem<strong>in</strong>d us that what readers know and believe and what <strong>the</strong>y have been<br />

told about texts determ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong> large part how <strong>the</strong>y respond to a text. In our<br />

classrooms, we <strong>of</strong>ten "frame" read<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>in</strong> this way. If a reader has been told that<br />

a text is "serious art" or "great literature," he or she will ei<strong>the</strong>r look for<br />

affirmation <strong>of</strong> that <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> text, or challenge that claim <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> process <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

English majors <strong>in</strong> my upper-level literature courses have <strong>of</strong>ten confirmed this<br />

reaction, question<strong>in</strong>g why a particular work belongs (or does not belong) to <strong>the</strong><br />

"canon" that my course def<strong>in</strong>es. To read not by <strong>the</strong> measure <strong>of</strong> what "should"<br />

be read, but to ask how and why readers <strong>in</strong>terpret texts <strong>of</strong>ten allows us to give<br />

new value to texts that have been overlooked and to f<strong>in</strong>d a new <strong>in</strong>tertextual basis<br />

for relationships between texts. Michael Kearns has suggested that if our goal<br />

<strong>in</strong> us<strong>in</strong>g literature <strong>in</strong> our courses is to teach students to be critical readers, texts<br />

that have been seen as hav<strong>in</strong>g slightliteraryvalue (<strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r words, that have been<br />

only m<strong>in</strong>or texts <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> canon) may well have great value <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> critical read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

skills <strong>the</strong>y cultivate. When we focus on how to read ra<strong>the</strong>r than on what to read,<br />

we beg<strong>in</strong> to judge <strong>the</strong> texts we select by a different standard. Historically<br />

overlooked texts can be brought <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> curriculum not because <strong>the</strong>y provide<br />

some requisite diversity <strong>of</strong> perspectives, but because <strong>the</strong>y help students understand<br />

why diversity is an issue <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> first place.<br />

Third, as teachers we must decide why we want students to read a particular<br />

text, and we must communicate that purpose explicitly. That our motives may<br />

be various-and that different texts <strong>of</strong>fer students a different piece <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> puzzle<br />

that is read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g-is without doubt, and we should make those<br />

differences clear <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> way we present texts to students. We must do more than<br />

merely provide students with clues that help <strong>the</strong>m contextualize a text. We must<br />

help students understand for <strong>the</strong>mselves what we may not always fully understand<br />

ourselves: how specific k<strong>in</strong>ds read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g relate, how <strong>the</strong>y are alike<br />

and how <strong>the</strong>y are different.


466 <strong>JAC</strong><br />

At <strong>the</strong> same time, we can hardly def<strong>in</strong>e read<strong>in</strong>g as an act vested solely <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

reader and expect our student writers to f<strong>in</strong>d that useful to <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong> produc<strong>in</strong>g<br />

texts. <strong>The</strong> problem with reader-oriented <strong>the</strong>ories <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition classroom<br />

is that <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>determ<strong>in</strong>acy <strong>of</strong> mean<strong>in</strong>g. <strong>The</strong>ories that expla<strong>in</strong> how texts are received<br />

by readers do not always sufficiently expla<strong>in</strong> how texts are produced (Brodkey<br />

227). Doug Brent tackles this problem <strong>in</strong> <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> as Rhetorical Invention. By<br />

add<strong>in</strong>g to audience-oriented def<strong>in</strong>itions <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g an awareness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> rhetorical<br />

context <strong>in</strong> which read<strong>in</strong>g takes place, we can see that, <strong>in</strong> Brent's words, "<strong>the</strong><br />

read<strong>in</strong>g process is a delicate balance between <strong>the</strong> sources <strong>of</strong> constructive<br />

freedom and forces that seek to constra<strong>in</strong> mean<strong>in</strong>g" (44). Accord<strong>in</strong>g to Brent, <strong>the</strong><br />

writer must manipulate a text "accord<strong>in</strong>g to his best estimate <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> reader's<br />

repertoire and situation" (45). Writ<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>in</strong> this description, follows from a desire<br />

for communication that reader and writer share. By learn<strong>in</strong>g to recognize and<br />

analyze this "delicate balance," our students will ga<strong>in</strong> a more pr<strong>of</strong>ound <strong>in</strong>sight<br />

<strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> production <strong>of</strong>texts and <strong>the</strong> control <strong>of</strong> mean<strong>in</strong>g-<strong>in</strong>sight that cannot help<br />

but make <strong>the</strong>m more effective writers. <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> and writ<strong>in</strong>g become recursive,<br />

reciprocal, and mutually dependent acts.<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> and writ<strong>in</strong>g are, quite simply, different, albeit complementary,<br />

ways <strong>of</strong> know<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> world. By read<strong>in</strong>g, we enter <strong>in</strong>to asocial conversation that<br />

enables us to shape our own thoughts and give voice to our own read<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

world through writ<strong>in</strong>g. Critical read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>volves more than just understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a text, though clearly basic comprehension must precede critical read<strong>in</strong>g. As we<br />

read we must be able to assess bias, to articulate oppos<strong>in</strong>g viewpo<strong>in</strong>ts, to evaluate<br />

strengths and weaknesses, and to make judgments about texts. We want to recognize<br />

when conventions are followed and when <strong>the</strong>y are subverted. We also want to be<br />

open to <strong>the</strong> play <strong>of</strong> connotation and <strong>the</strong> persuasive power <strong>of</strong> words <strong>in</strong> a text.<br />

We must explore precisely how we ask students to respond to texts. Many<br />

teachers <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g have <strong>in</strong>herited from <strong>the</strong>ir orig<strong>in</strong>s as students <strong>of</strong> literature an<br />

approach to "discussion" that rarely moves beyond putt<strong>in</strong>g students <strong>in</strong> a circle<br />

and ask<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m what <strong>the</strong>y thought or felt about what <strong>the</strong>y read. In my own<br />

classroom and <strong>in</strong> observ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> classrooms <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs, I have rarely seen this<br />

approach work well, especially when <strong>the</strong>re are more than about fifteen students<br />

<strong>in</strong> a class (which is almost always <strong>the</strong> case), and when <strong>the</strong> students are racially<br />

and ethnically diverse. Student resistance is too easy to overlook; too many<br />

voices rema<strong>in</strong> silent. Open-ended and narrow questions alike <strong>of</strong>ten lead to<br />

passivity or puzzlement. In short, we need to be as creative <strong>in</strong> cultivat<strong>in</strong>g read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

skills as we are <strong>in</strong> develop<strong>in</strong>g writ<strong>in</strong>g ability. Indeed, oral and written responses<br />

to texts feed one ano<strong>the</strong>r, and students who respond first <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g, ei<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> class<br />

or outside <strong>of</strong> class, usually respond better orally. In <strong>the</strong> questions we ask and<br />

<strong>the</strong> "classroom activities" we suggest, we must remember that we are not just<br />

solicit<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>formation, thoughts, or answers but model<strong>in</strong>g for our students <strong>the</strong><br />

questions that experienced critical readers ask when <strong>the</strong>y engage texts. Prompts<br />

for written responses need to be flexible enough that a student can f<strong>in</strong>d someth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to say, and yet precise enough that students are guided toward a useful response


<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong> 467<br />

to <strong>the</strong> text. Ask<strong>in</strong>g students to articulate not only <strong>the</strong>ir <strong>in</strong>itial responses but <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

reflections on those responses guides <strong>the</strong>m toward "recursive and self-monitor<strong>in</strong>g<br />

read<strong>in</strong>gs" (Salvatori 449). Small groups generate effective responses to texts,<br />

if a task has been def<strong>in</strong>ed clearly, and if groups share <strong>the</strong>ir responses with <strong>the</strong> rest<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> class. Technology-specifically, real-time conferenc<strong>in</strong>g tools like Aspects<br />

or Daedalus Interchange-provides us with new ways to hear and respond to<br />

student voices and to engage <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong> dialogue with each o<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

What are some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ways we would like students to read, and how can<br />

texts-and responses to texts-help us to cultivate <strong>the</strong>se ways <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> to build an <strong>in</strong>tellectual repertoire<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> is above all else a way <strong>of</strong> know<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> world. An <strong>in</strong>tellectual repertoire<br />

is, quite simply, all <strong>the</strong> knowledge <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world that we br<strong>in</strong>g to any encounter<br />

with a text. <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> widely helps students to build <strong>the</strong>ir own repertoires <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>tellectual resources that will enable <strong>the</strong>m to respond more fully to subsequent<br />

texts. One reason for <strong>the</strong> grow<strong>in</strong>g popularity <strong>of</strong> "<strong>the</strong>matic" writ<strong>in</strong>g courses,<br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g courses paired with courses <strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r discipl<strong>in</strong>es, and writ<strong>in</strong>g courses<br />

situated <strong>in</strong> cultural studies programs is that such approaches allow us easily and<br />

rapidly to create an <strong>in</strong>tellectual repertoire that students share. Text selection is<br />

simplified by organiz<strong>in</strong>g all <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g around a <strong>the</strong>me. But even<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> absence <strong>of</strong> such a unify<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>me, we can encourage students to read widely<br />

and collect ideas that <strong>in</strong>terest <strong>the</strong>m, and to keep a writer's journal or "clipp<strong>in</strong>g<br />

file. " We want students to sharpen <strong>the</strong>ir engagement with <strong>the</strong> world around<br />

<strong>the</strong>m, so that <strong>the</strong>y can <strong>in</strong> turn confront <strong>the</strong> texts <strong>the</strong>y read with substantial<br />

resources, and we can do so by mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m partly responsible for identify<strong>in</strong>g<br />

relevant "texts." In short, we want to use read<strong>in</strong>g and responses to read<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

make students active participants <strong>in</strong> a larger conversation. And conversation,<br />

as Charles Bazerman expla<strong>in</strong>s, "requires absorption <strong>of</strong> what prior speakers have<br />

said, consideration <strong>of</strong> how earlier comments relate to <strong>the</strong> responder's thoughts,<br />

and a response framed to <strong>the</strong> situation and <strong>the</strong> responder's purposes" (48-49). To<br />

seize such "conversational opportunities" poses greater challenges but <strong>of</strong>fers more<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>ound rewards than does merely master<strong>in</strong>g a certa<strong>in</strong> number <strong>of</strong> texts (53).<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong>for ambiguity<br />

Ann Berth<strong>of</strong>f has argued that <strong>the</strong> first priority <strong>of</strong> writers is learn<strong>in</strong>g "to tolerate<br />

chaos," while <strong>the</strong> first priority <strong>of</strong> readers is "learn<strong>in</strong>g to tolerate ambiguity" (110).<br />

By negotiat<strong>in</strong>g chaos and ambiguity-and by recogniz<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> differences between<br />

<strong>in</strong>tentional and un<strong>in</strong>tentional ambiguity-both readers and writers<br />

construct mean<strong>in</strong>g; and <strong>in</strong> recogniz<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> chaotic and ambiguous nature <strong>of</strong><br />

communication, students ga<strong>in</strong> greater flexibility <strong>in</strong> construct<strong>in</strong>g mean<strong>in</strong>g as<br />

readers and writers. <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> drafts <strong>in</strong> carefully constructed peer response<br />

sett<strong>in</strong>gs may provide students with <strong>the</strong> best understand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> how coherent,<br />

forceful texts emerge from chaos and ambiguity. <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> and respond<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

drafts as readers construct<strong>in</strong>g mean<strong>in</strong>g, not as editors spott<strong>in</strong>g errors, is a process


468 <strong>JAC</strong><br />

that forces students to see chaos <strong>in</strong> a text not as merely a "problem" to be<br />

corrected, but as possibilities to be opened up. Similarly, when <strong>the</strong>y confront<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>essional texts <strong>of</strong> one sort or ano<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>y need to see difficulty not as<br />

someth<strong>in</strong>g to which <strong>the</strong>y must surrender if <strong>the</strong>y cannot master it, but as a way<br />

that a text engages a reader's participation or opens itself to greater significance.<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong>for <strong>the</strong> unexpected<br />

I may choose a particular text because it can teach my student readers <strong>the</strong> skills<br />

<strong>of</strong> what Donald Murray calls "read<strong>in</strong>g for surprise" or "read<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>the</strong> unexpected."<br />

Some texts help readers to see <strong>the</strong> ways that writers manipulate a<br />

reader's expectations. Murray describes <strong>the</strong> process <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g as "constantly<br />

pass<strong>in</strong>g between <strong>the</strong> particular and <strong>the</strong> general." In read<strong>in</strong>g, he expla<strong>in</strong>s, "I match<br />

<strong>the</strong> vision <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> whole to <strong>the</strong> implication <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> particular" (13). For <strong>the</strong> most<br />

part student readers are not especially open to "follow[<strong>in</strong>g] an unexpected,<br />

significant mean<strong>in</strong>g," because <strong>the</strong>y have little experience <strong>in</strong> identify<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

expectations, except <strong>in</strong> a vague and <strong>in</strong>explict way (16). Students must be shown<br />

howto articulate with some precision what <strong>the</strong>y expect to f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>in</strong> a text, and how<br />

to dist<strong>in</strong>guish between what Murray calls <strong>the</strong> general and <strong>the</strong> specific. By<br />

show<strong>in</strong>g students texts that identify and respond to reader's expectations <strong>in</strong><br />

various ways-<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g texts that deliberately subvert readers' expectationswe<br />

can open <strong>the</strong>m to new possibilities about how to read and write.<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong>for <strong>the</strong> play <strong>of</strong> language<br />

Students need to recognize how connotation, metaphor, tone, and diction<br />

<strong>in</strong>fluence our responses to a text. Imag<strong>in</strong>ative literature or literary non-fiction<br />

may be <strong>the</strong> obvious choices to illustrate <strong>the</strong> play <strong>of</strong> language, but <strong>the</strong>y are by no<br />

means <strong>the</strong> only or even <strong>the</strong> best choices to help students read for <strong>the</strong> l<strong>in</strong>guistic<br />

or stylistic features <strong>of</strong> texts. In some courses I have had much success <strong>in</strong> us<strong>in</strong>g<br />

court cases to show how writers develop analogies or def<strong>in</strong>e words to constrict<br />

or expand mean<strong>in</strong>g. We can also use more mundane cultural texts-advertis<strong>in</strong>g<br />

rhetoric, political speech, popular culture-to help students discern <strong>the</strong> power<br />

<strong>of</strong> language to shape perceptions, to evoke feel<strong>in</strong>gs, and to persuade. Transcriptions<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>terviews, court testimony, or oral histories, as well as dialogue <strong>in</strong><br />

fiction, can help students negotiate <strong>the</strong> differences between written and oral uses<br />

<strong>of</strong> language. Us<strong>in</strong>g texts represent<strong>in</strong>g different genres and styles may help us to<br />

illustrate differences <strong>in</strong> diction and word choice that characterize different<br />

authors' approaches to similar problems.<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong>for strategies <strong>of</strong> persuasion<br />

We can also use read<strong>in</strong>gs to help students to recognize <strong>the</strong> relationship between<br />

argument and evidence and to appreciate more fully <strong>the</strong> ways <strong>in</strong> which<br />

knowledge is made <strong>in</strong> different communities. Provid<strong>in</strong>g students with texts that<br />

demonstrate different viewpo<strong>in</strong>ts on <strong>the</strong> same issue or topic will be most<br />

valuable <strong>in</strong> this regard. To focus on <strong>the</strong> play <strong>of</strong> oppos<strong>in</strong>g viewpo<strong>in</strong>ts allows us,


<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong> 469<br />

once aga<strong>in</strong>, to choose texts from a variety <strong>of</strong> genres and styles. If we use literature<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g classroom, we should help students understand how <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

<strong>in</strong>terpretations are part <strong>of</strong> a larger conversation about <strong>the</strong> texts we <strong>of</strong>fer <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

One argument aga<strong>in</strong>st us<strong>in</strong>g literature <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g classroom po<strong>in</strong>ts to <strong>the</strong><br />

persistence <strong>of</strong> New Critical approaches that presume a literary text provides<br />

all <strong>the</strong> clues to its own <strong>in</strong>terpretation. As Gerald Graff has so eloquently argued,<br />

we ought to <strong>in</strong>troduce students to critical debates earlier ra<strong>the</strong>r than later <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> literature. As he expla<strong>in</strong>s, "Choos<strong>in</strong>g a topic that <strong>in</strong>terests you or<br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g an effective argument depends on what o<strong>the</strong>r people are say<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>of</strong> what<br />

<strong>the</strong> state <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> discussion is." He shows how, as a student, exposure to what<br />

critics had said helped him to articulate his ideas and to "enjoy" literature more:<br />

"Relation to a community made <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>timacy <strong>of</strong> literary experience possible"<br />

(43). Ra<strong>the</strong>r than confound<strong>in</strong>g or <strong>in</strong>timidat<strong>in</strong>g novice readers <strong>of</strong> literature,<br />

exposure to critical debates helps students to f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong>ir own voices. In general,<br />

when we use issue-oriented or <strong>the</strong>matic texts <strong>of</strong> one sort or ano<strong>the</strong>r we can help<br />

students see how read<strong>in</strong>g helps <strong>the</strong>m to def<strong>in</strong>e and shape controversies.<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong>forgenre conventions<br />

While genre, especially <strong>in</strong> literary studies, has typically meant a concern with<br />

<strong>the</strong> formal characteristics and consequent categorization <strong>of</strong> texts, more recent<br />

explorations <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> concept <strong>of</strong> genre, especially <strong>in</strong> rhetoric and l<strong>in</strong>guistics, have<br />

addressed what might be called <strong>the</strong> "textual dynamics" <strong>of</strong> discourse communities<br />

(see Berkenkotter and Huck<strong>in</strong>). Knowledge <strong>of</strong> genre conventions as well as<br />

<strong>the</strong> ability to discern conventions from observable patterns <strong>of</strong> texts <strong>in</strong> discourse<br />

communities give readers access to varied conversations. In our advanced<br />

composition and pr<strong>of</strong>essional writ<strong>in</strong>g courses, we might choose texts that<br />

demonstrate <strong>the</strong> conventions <strong>of</strong> one particular discipl<strong>in</strong>e, or for that matter <strong>of</strong><br />

a range <strong>of</strong> discipl<strong>in</strong>es. By emphasiz<strong>in</strong>g genre conventions, we can teach students<br />

how to identify characteristics <strong>of</strong> discourse <strong>in</strong> dist<strong>in</strong>ct communities. In freshman-level<br />

courses questions as simple as <strong>the</strong> differences between newspaper<br />

articles and scholarly essays can <strong>in</strong>troduce students to <strong>the</strong> concept and uses <strong>of</strong><br />

genre conventions.<br />

"<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong>" experience<br />

<strong>The</strong> engaged, critical relationship that we want students to cultivate with written<br />

texts might be encouraged through <strong>the</strong> use <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r k<strong>in</strong>ds <strong>of</strong>texts: photographs,<br />

films, music, oral history. <strong>The</strong> goal here is to help students understand response<br />

as a transactional and dialectical relationship between "text" and o<strong>the</strong>r. Observ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and reflect<strong>in</strong>g on experiences may even provide useful models or metaphors<br />

for critical read<strong>in</strong>g. Ask<strong>in</strong>g students to observe and take notes about a place or<br />

event and <strong>the</strong>n respond to that text, or ask<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m to freewrite about some<br />

personal experience and respond to that text helps <strong>the</strong>m to move from summary<br />

to analysis and to negotiate <strong>the</strong> vary<strong>in</strong>g roles that readers and writers must adopt<br />

<strong>in</strong> different situations. <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> and writ<strong>in</strong>g thus become reciprocal processes.


470 <strong>JAC</strong><br />

While no one course could possibly explore all <strong>the</strong>se ways <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

identify<strong>in</strong>g our own emphases and goals <strong>in</strong> particular k<strong>in</strong>ds <strong>of</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g courses<br />

will help us to expla<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g experience and to choose texts that illustrate<br />

that experience. Students <strong>in</strong> our courses will be formulat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir own <strong>the</strong>ories<br />

<strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g, account<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>the</strong> demands and challenges as well as <strong>the</strong> rewards <strong>of</strong><br />

negotiat<strong>in</strong>g mean<strong>in</strong>g and develop<strong>in</strong>g critical literacy. As a teacher, whatever<br />

<strong>the</strong>ories <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>form a particular course, and whatever my own motives<br />

for assign<strong>in</strong>g a particular text, my overarch<strong>in</strong>g goal is to demonstrate <strong>the</strong> variety<br />

<strong>of</strong> ways <strong>in</strong> which readers and writers negotiate mean<strong>in</strong>g. Critical readers-<strong>the</strong><br />

k<strong>in</strong>d <strong>of</strong> readers we would like our students to become-are those who know how<br />

to engage a text, any text, <strong>in</strong> conversation: to ask appropriate questions. This is<br />

ultimately a task that <strong>in</strong>volves know<strong>in</strong>g not just what questions to ask, but why<br />

<strong>the</strong>se questions are appropriate and productive. A writer who has learned to be<br />

a critical reader is aware <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ways <strong>in</strong> which texts anticipate a reader's<br />

expectations. By communicat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ories <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g to our students and by<br />

help<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m to formulate <strong>the</strong>ir own <strong>the</strong>ories <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g, we will cultivate critical<br />

readers <strong>in</strong> our composition classrooms-critical readers who transport this<br />

ability <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> world beyond our classrooms.<br />

Notes<br />

Michigan State University<br />

East Lans<strong>in</strong>g, Michigan<br />

II confess to hav<strong>in</strong>g taken some dramatic license <strong>in</strong> recreat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> student responses<br />

recounted here. At <strong>the</strong> same time, I wish to acknowledge <strong>the</strong> many ways <strong>in</strong> which <strong>the</strong> graduate<br />

student <strong>in</strong>structors help me to shape my own th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g about what happens <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition<br />

classroom. I served as a program adm<strong>in</strong>istrator at <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> California, Davis from<br />

1990-1995. <strong>The</strong>se graduate students, all M.A. or Ph.D. students <strong>in</strong> creative writ<strong>in</strong>g or literature,<br />

beg<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir teach<strong>in</strong>g careers at U.C. Davis by teach<strong>in</strong>g a freshman course <strong>in</strong> expository writ<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

In this department, <strong>the</strong> debate about literature <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition classroom was resolved<br />

decades ago by creat<strong>in</strong>g two separate but equal freshman composition courses. In English 1,<br />

Expository Writ<strong>in</strong>g, literary texts are strictly forbidden by course guidel<strong>in</strong>es, although more<br />

subversive <strong>in</strong>structors and adm<strong>in</strong>istrators have found ways to sneak it <strong>in</strong>. In English 3,<br />

Introduction to Literature, "literature" is def<strong>in</strong>e as poetry, drama, and fiction, and non-fiction<br />

is banned. Undergraduates may take ei<strong>the</strong>r course to fulfill <strong>the</strong>ir lower-division writ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

requirement.<br />

'See, for example, Mary Vroman Batde (freshman do not appear to absorb read<strong>in</strong>g skills<br />

as a function <strong>of</strong> learn<strong>in</strong>g to write); Sherrie L. Nist and Ruth C. Sabol, (notes contrasts <strong>in</strong> read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and writ<strong>in</strong>g skills); Peter Smagor<strong>in</strong>sky (simply read<strong>in</strong>g models is <strong>in</strong>sufficient to teach young<br />

readers how to produce compositions).<br />

lDavid Foster, A Primer for Writ<strong>in</strong>g Teachers: <strong>The</strong>ories, <strong>The</strong>orists, Issues. Problems: "An<br />

anthology <strong>of</strong> read<strong>in</strong>gs should be chosen only after <strong>the</strong> teacher has asked a fundamental question:<br />

do students need to read as well as write <strong>in</strong> a writ<strong>in</strong>g course?" (133-134). <strong>The</strong> author also notes<br />

that read<strong>in</strong>gs serve two ma<strong>in</strong> purposes: <strong>of</strong>fer<strong>in</strong>g rhetorical and stylistic strategies to "imitate,"<br />

and stimulat<strong>in</strong>g students' exploration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> "subject matter." I do not mean to be more critical<br />

than necessary <strong>of</strong> this particular text. But it does seem shock<strong>in</strong>g to me that given <strong>the</strong> amount<br />

<strong>of</strong> time, energy, and money devoted to <strong>the</strong> textbook <strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>in</strong> this country, so lime attention<br />

is paid <strong>in</strong> books targeted for novice teachers to guidel<strong>in</strong>es for evalllat<strong>in</strong>g and select<strong>in</strong>g textbooks.


<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Composition</strong> <strong>Classroom</strong> 471<br />

4This "debate" began at a session <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1992 Conference on College Communication and<br />

<strong>Composition</strong> <strong>in</strong> C<strong>in</strong>c<strong>in</strong>nati and was subsequently published <strong>in</strong> College English 55 (1993): 311-<br />

321. College English has s<strong>in</strong>ce published not onIy a number <strong>of</strong> responses to Tate's and<br />

L<strong>in</strong>demann's orig<strong>in</strong>al essays (55 [1994]: 585-590; 55 [1994]: 666-679), but also a "symposium" on<br />

literature <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> composition classroom (57 [1995]: 266-318). After this last flurry <strong>of</strong> essays on<br />

<strong>the</strong> subject, Erw<strong>in</strong> R. Ste<strong>in</strong>berg <strong>of</strong> Carnegie Mellon proposed edit<strong>in</strong>g a book on <strong>the</strong> question<br />

<strong>of</strong> literature <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> classroom. Accord<strong>in</strong>g to a letter he sent me <strong>in</strong> August 1995, his call for papers<br />

had produced few papers and no real debate emerged, s<strong>in</strong>ce most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> papers argued for<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g literature.<br />

Works Cited<br />

Anson, Chris M., Joan Graham, David A. Jolliffe, Nancy S. Shapiro, and Carolyn H. Smith,<br />

eds. Scenarios for Teach<strong>in</strong>g Writ<strong>in</strong>g: Contexts for Discussion and Reflective Practice. Urbana,<br />

IL: NCTE, 1993.<br />

Bartholomae, David and Anthony Petrosky. Facts and Counteifacts: <strong>The</strong>ory and Method for a<br />

<strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> and Writ<strong>in</strong>g Course. Upper Montclair, NJ: Boynton/Cook, 1986.<br />

Battle, Mary Vroman. "Evaluated Quantitative Research for Relat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Read<strong>in</strong>g</strong> and Writ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> Begtnn<strong>in</strong>g College English." Mid-South Educational Research, 1986. ERIC ED 285171.<br />

Bazerman, Charles. Construct<strong>in</strong>g Experience. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Ill<strong>in</strong>ois<br />

UP,1994.<br />

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